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Home Electrical Safety

The Dangers of Extension Cords

  • Extension cords are a common cause of electrical fires. That is why you must be careful to use only extension cords that are rated for the power used by the device they are powering.
  • Extension cords must never be run inside walls or under rugs or furniture. They can be damaged by traffic or heavy furniture and start arcing, which can lead to a fire.
  • Extension cords can get warm during use and must be able to dissipate this heat or they can start a fire.

Signs of an Electrical Problem

  • Flickering lights: If the lights dim every time you turn on an appliance it means that the circuit is overloaded or has a loose connection.
  • Sparks: If sparks appear when you insert or remove a plug, it could be a sign of loose connections.
  • Warm electrical cord: If an electrical cord is warm to the touch, the cord is underrated or defective.
  • Frequent blown fuses or broken circuits: A fuse that continues to blow or circuit breaker that keeps tripping is an important warning sign of problems.
  • Frequent bulb burnout: A light bulb that burns out frequently is a sign that the bulb is too high in wattage for the fixture.

How to Avoid Dryer Fires

  • Lack of maintenance is the number one cause of dryer fires. That is why it is critical to clean the lint filter before and after each use, and wipe away any lint that has accumulated around the drum.
  • Perform periodic checks to ensure that the air exhaust vent pipe is unobstructed (lint accumulation) and the outdoor vent flap opens readily.
  • Do not run the dryer without a lint filter.
  • You are encouraged to not leave the dryer running if you go out, in case it malfunctions.
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